TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, August 25 (PIA)—A study cited by the national community managed savings and credit associations bared that only very few Filipinos own savings accounts due to the inability of some to present proper identifications top vouch for the depositor.
The same study cited the fact that most people who opts to start a small savings find the documentary requirements in opening an account hard to come by.
Conscious of this, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), through a recent Monetary Board resolution, has instructed its supervised banks all over the country to follow a simplified Know Your Customer (KYC) instead of the hard to come by identification documents.
By KYC, instead of forcing depositors to produce IDs, identifying the customer and verifying their true identity can now be based on any document or information reduced in writing, including but not limited to certifications, BSP Information Officer Hazel Cultura bared.
Through Circular 992, series of 2018, BSP through its governor Nestor A. Espenilla Jr., has officially increased access of the country’s unserved and underserved to financial services that also improves financial inclusivity to the poor and the small entrepreneurs, she added.
According to Cultura, the circular which liberalized customer onboarding in the banking world, formally establishes a new system of identifying customers and verifying their true identity.
Previous requirement in opening bank accounts says one must submit at least two (2) valid IDs which could be the new SSS or GSIS ID, driver’s license, a company ID, school ID, Passport, PRC ID, postal ID, or marriage contract, two most recent 1 x 1 ID picture, proof of billing for water and power or a tax identification number.
These requirements discourage a small savings depositor who would most often, change his mind and take his small savings somewhere else.
In 2007, the BSP embraced a more ambitious goal of financial inclusion as a way of bringing the financial system closer to all Filipinos. The overall vision is to build an inclusive financial system where there is effective access to a wide range of appropriate financial products and services.
But with the requirements in place in the Manual of Regulations for Banks (MORB), unless amendments are introduced, financial inclusion remains a distant dream for the poor entrepreneur or depositor, bankers shared the issue.
On this, the Monetary Board, which BSP Gov Espenilla chairs, in its resolution 58, dated January 2018, approved the introduction of the framework for basic deposit accounts, BSP said.
The resolution introduced a new kind of account: the Basic Deposit Account (BDA), one that is designed to promote financial inclusion.
BDA will enable the Filipinos to receive and make payments, own a facility to deposit, using the same basic functionalities that will characterize ease, accessibility, convenience and reasonable cost for banks and customers, BSP through Information Officer Hazel Cultura explained.
The BDA’s minimum key features which the BSP expects banks to adopt, include an opening amount of at least P100.00, does not have any maintaining balance, no reserve requirement, does not have any dormancy charges but with a maximum balance of not more than P50,000, Cultura told members of the Association of United Development Information Officers (AUDIO) during a meeting at Jjs Seafoods Village last week.
For Basic Deposit Accounts which exceed 50,000.00 minimum balance, BSP said the banks should also convert to a regular deposit account.
Even then, banks can still accept normal Savings Deposit Accounts (SDA) that are withdrawable upon demand and through available bank channels.
SDA’s include regular savings account, the interest bearing account withdrawable upon presentation of a properly accomplished withdrawal slip with corresponding passbook or by automated tellering system.
Another kind of SDA is the Kiddie and Teen Savings accounts for children and teens (up to 19) opening with an initial P100.00 deposit and without a maintaining balance.
And then there are other savings accounts that offer tiered interest rates depending on the deposit amount, BSP said. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)